2019 Nov 13th

Hide your Pot, Hoboken!

I recently came across an article headlined “POT Killed My Home Sale”.

With marijuana legal in many states and soon to become legal in even more, this is an issue that will come up more often.  What happens if you are selling your property and the appraiser sees pot plants or quantities of pot in your home?  Most loans are approved based on Fannie Mae guidelines.  Pot is still illegal at the federal level.  Evidence of illegal substances may cause your loan to be denied.  So if you are selling, hide the goods…

Another issue that is going to become more and more prevalent, especially in urban areas like Hoboken, is whether condo associations can prohibit smoking pot in the building.  The pungent smell is already obvious when I visit many condos to show properties.  Marijuana was recently legalized in Illinois.  As a part of legalizing recreational marijuana use, the Illinois Cannabis Act revised several existing Illinois statutes, including the Condominium Act. In particular, the Cannabis Act added a new section 33 to the Condominium Act that states, “The condominium instruments of an association may prohibit or limit the smoking of cannabis, as the term smoking is defined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, within a unit owner’s unit. The condominium instruments and rules and regulations shall not otherwise restrict the consumption of cannabis by any other method within a unit owner’s unit, or the limited common elements, but may restrict any form of consumption on the common elements.”  Has your association given this any thought?


  1. JC

    On my third coffee….sorry in advance:

    Interesting. So now its the appraisers job to assess the risk of the homeowner to break laws? What if they see a gun? I know they work for the bank and I get any homeowner who has a few pounds of grass is certainly suspect of something, but is this really the appraisers responsibility?

    What if the appraiser sees my collection of scotch or my gets a glimpse into my refrigerator and sees I have 200 hot dogs. I’m more risky then somebody who doesnt drink and binge eat hot dogs so that should bring my appraisal down?

    Sorry, but what if its medical marijuana? Like that is any of the appraisers business anyway.

    I’m obviously pro-cannabis and in a few years we the stigma behind “pot” will be gone. 76% of millennials approve of legalization.

    My condo association says no illegal drug use permitted. Pot is in that category. Once NJ legalizes on the state level, then its a good question what to do. However at the feds cant come after folks who consume in states that are legal.

    Pot smells a whole lot better than cigarette smoke and sure I can see condos prohibiting smoking anything, but they cant stop edibles and vaping. VAPING! Dont get me started.

  2. Lori

    JC – I agree with you. I guess it is up to the appraiser, though, to differentiate between a ‘personal use’ situation and a grow-op. Surely, if they found a meth-lab, it would matter to the bank. The article I referenced never said anything about the quantity or other circumstances of what was found. I’ve never seen an appraiser open closets or cabinets – it must have been in plain view. Maybe it was a quantity that arose suspicion of dealing. But we do need better laws and legalized marijuana at the state level. It’s coming. There is just too much money in it for the states to avoid it.

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